Clearshield Gives a Clear
View from the Top
Clear, uninterrupted lines of sight are crucial
to the safety of take-off and landing operations
that are directed from an airport control tower...
means the glass in the control tower
that starts out crystal clear when
new, needs to retain its clarity. It
is a vital component, for example,
for an airport handling flights for
51 airlines, carrying 8 million
passengers a year to 76 destinations.
at Scotland's Edinburgh Airport, the
two have come together in a newly
built 57m high tower. Here,
previously obstructed lines of sight
that blighted the old control tower
are no longer a problem, and the
90m² of new glazing was treated
onsite with Ritec's ClearShield
System for Low-M (Low-Maintenance)
cabs, with their Slim-View mullions,
provide 360° vision with the minimum
of visual obstruction, and there are
no internal central column supports
to obscure the view.
Despite the excellent field of view,
deterioration of the glazing will
compromise the performance of air
traffic controllers. At the time,
Peter Wilson, Project Manager for
the lead contractor, Laing O'Rourke,
recalls a recommendation from
control tower design and build
specialists, Alifabs, that their
Sonarview glazing would benefit from
ClearShield treatment if it were to
retain its integrity.
“We've worked with Ritec on a number
of occasions in the past," said
Alifabs' Managing Director, Tony
Pactat, “and always found them very
good. Usually, they work with us,
but on other occasions we include
the treatment as an option to be
taken up by the client if they wish."
O'Rourke saw the sense of this, so,
enter Ritec, with its specialist
onsite application team. Within two
days, the glass had been fully
treated, despite being in-situ and
almost 60 metres off the ground.
Whilst Ritec recommends application
of ClearShield under factory-controlled
conditions, this isn't always
possible and onsite application is
still a regular part of its
operations. The first stage of this
kind of application is the
renovation of the glass surface,
restoring it to an 'as-new'
Ritec's Onsite Application Manager,
Bob Wallman, said, “While the
surface of glass looks completely
flat, in reality it's quite craggy
and acts as a natural trap for all
kinds of debris on a building site.
Blown sand and concrete dust, for a
start, can contaminate the surface,
as can rain and chemical pollutants.
“We've worked with Alifabs before
and overall the glass was in good
condition, but we still had to
renovate it to remove the inevitable
film of pollution from aircraft fuel
that had accumulated."
the renovation stage, the glass was
treated with ClearShield to provide
the surface with effective, durable
protection from contaminants.
a type of job we're pretty skilled
at doing," said Bob, “as we've done
a few now, including high profile
airports like Heathrow, Gatwick and
Stansted. In fact, ClearShield has
been applied to many airport control
towers all over the world."
treatment gives glass 'non-stick',
low-maintenance properties that make
it easier to clean as part of a
regular refurbishment programme, it
stays cleaner for longer and it
resists staining and discoloration.
Frequency of cleaning is typically
reduced by half, cutting down the
cost and difficulty of cleaning.
International Ltd is both pioneer
and market leader for glass surface
renovation, protection and
maintenance. With 25 years of field
experience, ClearShield is used for
all types of applications including
commercial glazing, residential
windows, conservatories, shower
enclosures, decorative glass and
glazing in marine vessels and